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Movie still from documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, playing at the DOXA Documentary Film Festival in Vancouver.


Travel from the post-earthquake rubble of Szechuan, China to New York's Museum of Modern Art, and from farmers' fields in Israel to a Nicaraguan banana plantation at the DOXA Documentary Film Festival, where you can catch over 100 top docs as well as filmmaker appearances, a youth forum and more.

In part because of the proliferation of digital cameras and software, documentary has seen an explosion in popularity, says festival programmer Dorothy Woodend, and this year's offerings include styles from glossy, wide-screen stunners to no-budget films with tremendous heart.

"I find it admirable, because they had the gumption to just pick up a camera and go – and you see it in all kinds of different ways in this festival," says Ms. Woodend, whose top picks include Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet, 5 Broken Cameras, Last Call at the Oasis, Never Sorry and The Artist is Present.

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"And they've done it because they believed in the story, and believed it needed to be told. So it really gets to you."

DOXA runs through May 13 at various venues. For a complete schedule, visit

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